Report: Apple To Charge To Download Boot Camp Final

Boot Camp is currently in beta version 1.1.2.

According to MacScoop, Apple will move Boot Camp out of its current beta status and into final form for the "Tiger" version, or 10.4, of Mac OS X and charge users $29 for the software. At the same time, it will bundle a version of the final software into Mac OS X 10.5, or "Leopard," later this spring at no extra charge. Apple has not yet set a release date for Leopard.

Boot Camp, which Apple introduced in April 2006, is a set of instructions and an assistant application that walks users through partitioning a Mac's hard drive, burning a CD with the necessary boot drivers, and installing Windows XP SP2. With Boot Camp, users can launch either Windows or the Mac OS when they turn on the computer.

Apple has never specified whether Boot Camp would remain free when it left beta test, but MacScoop's sources claim the Cupertino, Calif., computer and electronics maker will charge $29 for the final software for those who add it to existing systems. The forthcoming Leopard will include the Boot Camp feature, and will likely add support for Windows Vista when Mac OS X 10.5 launches.

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Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Last week, reports circulated that Apple would levy a fee to enable faster wireless technology already inside newer Macs; Apple quickly confirmed the $1.99 charge.